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Eternal

1 John 5:11-12 – “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

My husband and I were at the mall this weekend. We saw a shirt hanging in a window that said, “We are eternal.” I had to stop and get another look. My husband said, “Sure we are eternal. But what eternal are they talking about?” He was thinking heaven or hell. 

It seems that our society thinks it is above reproach. Somehow or another, they think they will never die and never be held accountable for anything they do. I have heard songs about that “we will are never getting older” and songs about doing something “anyway”. 

No thought for consequences. No thought to anyone else other than themself. 

Eternal. Do people realize that is a really, really, really long and never ending time? Do they realize that their eternity will be spent in a smoking or non-smoking place? They have the choice of everlasting love or everlasting fire. They have the choice to accept Jesus or reject Him. 

So yes, we are eternal. But which eternal will you choose – eternal love or eternal damnation? It seems like such an easy choice. Choosing love means allowing Jesus to lead and guide you. Choosing damnation means leading yourself and trusting that you can make all things good. For me, I choose to let Christ lead my life. I choose eternal love. 

Life after today

Revelation 22:1-5 – “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

I was driving along the other day and I heard a guy on the radio make this statement. Now, the guy that said it, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. But, the statement in and of itself is really good. 

How will you live life after today? You have no idea what today holds. You have no idea if you will even wake up tomorrow, let alone follow through with the plans you have made. Yet, all week we think and plan for the weekend. It’s our time off (for some). It’s when we are “free”. 

Do you ever stop and consider eternity? Do you think about what it will look like, who will be there or what you will do? Some of my family is already experiencing eternity. They are living life after today. 

I don’t have a ton to say on this today. I’m just planting seeds. 

Let me encourage you to take some of that “free” time and consider eternity for a bit. If you don’t understand or know where you will spend eternity, go check out my other page for the plan of salvation. It’s so easy and so worth it. Don’t think about life after today without Jesus in it. 

Heartbreak

1 Peter 3:15,16 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”

Wednesday was a tough day. And I’m not talking about all the running that I had to do. No, I’m talking about a conversation I had with a patient I see. 

God had set it all up. I had received a random text from my mom about my aunt’s email address. And my patient wanted to know if everything was okay, seeing that I checked the text from my mom. Well, that opened the door for me to tell someone about Jesus by using my blog. 

Here’s where it gets tough – she told me she was agnostic and proceeded to very sweetly tell me what she believed and why. It was clear through the discussion that she had already made up her mind about Jesus. She had rejected Him. And it broke my heart. When I left, I cried. I called my husband. I called my mom. I was heartbroken that this dear lady, whom I care about, had made the choice to die and go to Hell, even though she doesn’t believe in it. 

How do you go on after that?

It is tough. I have to work with this lady. I have to help her achieve her physical goals while knowing that her eternal future is in jeopardy. 

All I can do is pray for her. I will keep living differently in front of her and keep interjecting Christ whenever I can. I need to know in my heart that I pricked her heart every time I had the opportunity. 

I can’t save her. I can’t make her believe in Jesus Christ. I can’t change her mind. But I can love her. I can show her Jesus in my thoughts, my actions and my words. I can tell my brothers and sisters in Christ about her need and have them pray with me. That’s all I can do. And if the opportunity presents itself again, I will pounce on it…again. I just need to be listening and be aware of what God is laying before me. 

Wanted vs. Not wanted

John 14:23 – “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Have you ever felt not wanted? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like a third wheel? No one likes that feeling. Everyone wants to feel wanted. We want to be needed and wanted. People may say that it doesn’t matter, but deep down, it does.

Some people try and say that Jesus forces Himself into our lives. They think of Him as pushy and demanding. Too many rules. Too much interference. Too strict.

I guess it’s all perspective and whether you believe the Bible or not. You see, when I read this verse in John, I see Someone who wants to be wanted. Not that Jesus needs us to want Him, but rather He doesn’t become involved where He is not wanted. He seeks us out. He pursues our heart. He desires to have a relationship with us. Yet, if we say “no” to Him enough times, He leaves us alone….forever. It is possible to reject Jesus. And with that rejection comes eternal separation. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen too easily. God is the God of second, third, fourth (and so on) chances. He doesn’t desire for anyone to face an eternity in hell. But there does come a time when “no” means “no” and the pursuit stops. What a sad day that is.

I am grateful that Jesus only assists where He is wanted. I get that. I understand that desire. It makes me feel closer to Him in knowing that. We always hear and are taught that Jesus knows our sorrows and understands our trials. It is good to have that emotional connection. In my crazy mind, it helps me to understand Him better.

So today, let me encourage you to include Jesus in your everyday things. He wants to be a part of your life. He wants to hear all about it. He wants to be focused on you. He wants to guide you through this insanity. However, He won’t assist where He is not invited. Stop what you are doing right now, and if you haven’t invited Him into your day, do so. His fellowship is way sweeter if you ask.

Almost…

Acts 26:28,29 – “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.”

I have been thinking a lot about Judas lately. I have been doing a devotional book and one of the lessons was on Judas. 

Judas walked with Jesus all those years, saw all those miracles, heard all His teachings – and yet, he still did not believe. He was looking for a zealot, someone to lead his people out of Roman bondage and tyranny. Judas thought he had found that leader in Jesus. And instead of listening and having his heart changed, he became bitter and deceitful. 

And then you have Agrippa. He heard all that Paul had to say, had seen the changes in the people and may have even experienced the time of Jesus’s death. Yet, he couldn’t give his heart to Christ. “Almost thou persuadest me”. 

How many people will be standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ saying, “I almost believed”? It makes my heart sad to think of those people. Those people who have seen Jesus at work in someone’s life. Those who have seen His mighty hand change a situation because of prayer. Those who have sat in the pew week after week and heard the Gospel yet remained where they were instead of giving up the fight. 

I just wanted to remind you today that you can lead someone to change, but you can’t make them change. All you can do is offer the change. It is similar to losing weight. You know you need to do it. You know you need to make the change. But until you decide to change and have been persuaded that it is necessary to do so, it is futile to try and change. You have to be persuaded that you are overweight and your health is in danger. With salvation, you have to be persuaded that you are a sinner and your eternal life is in danger of the fires of hell. As followers of Christ, we can show someone these truths from the Bible, but until they allow the Holy Spirit to convict their heart, change is not going to happen. 

So let me encourage you today, live the change. Live the difference that Christ has made in your life. Remember – you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. You can show others Christ in your life, but you can’t make them accept Him as their Savior. 

In the grocery store…

Matthew 10:32,33 – “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before menhim will I confess also before my Father which is in heavenBut whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. “

Have you ever seen someone famous? You know, in a casual setting? That happened to me yesterday, or at least I’m 95% sure I am correct in who I saw. 

I was at the grocery store and saw one of the new soccer players on our MLS team. Not just anyone, the main guy, the most highly paid player on the team, the one the season is built around. This guy is a big deal in soccer. I saw him from a distance and as I got closer, he looked me straight in the eye and I knew who he was. I think he thought I would say something, but for lands sake! The man was grocery shopping with someone who looked like his mom! I’m not going to say something and (1) be wrong about who he is or (2) make a big deal out of him doing something we all have to do. 

But anyway, yesterday I found myself telling everyone about who I saw at the grocery store. When we see someone “famous” we tend to do that, don’t we? We make a big deal out of someone with lots of fame and money doing ordinary activities. 

My point is this – I have encounters with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ every day. Do I go out and spread that around like I do seeing a famous soccer player at the grocery store? No. Sadly, I do not. 

Jesus told us in these verses that if we confess Him before men, He will confess us before the Father. Well, by me not telling everyone about all that Jesus does for me on a daily basis, I am essentially denying Him before men. Ouch! 

You know, we need to be less worried about offending someone with our faith. I think a lot of the time that is what is holding us back. We are so fearful that we might offend that we don’t share our experiences; we don’t share our hope; we don’t share eternity. And I am just as guilty as the next person. I have people at work that need Jesus. And I don’t tell them like I should because I don’t want to upset our work relationship. How stupid is that?! I would sacrifice their eternity for a good day tomorrow. Yet, I know I will tell them about the soccer player yesterday. 

Let me encourage you today, speak out. Speak out for Christ. Let others know what He is doing in your life! 

One Direction

John 14:5,6 – “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

No, this isn’t a blog about a popular boy band. 

This blog is about THE MOST important person to ever walk this earth – Jesus. We just celebrated His death, burial and resurrection. Why is this something we celebrate? Because without it, we would have no hope, no promise of something better, no salvation. And you know what, this is something we should celebrate every day. This isn’t a once a year celebration. We have this joy, this hope, this promise every single day. Unfortunately, most of the time we neglect this fact and live our lives in a ho-hum kind of way. 

In the passage today, Jesus was preparing His disciples for His upcoming death. And they just didn’t get it. They couldn’t wrap their brains around what He was telling them.  He was trying to encourage them that  He was going to be away from them but that they needed to remember that other people may come trying to tell them something different.  But they needed to remember that He is the only way to salvation. You can’t work for it. You can’t be nice enough. There is only one way – believing on Him as the One who died for all our sin and who rose again the third day, conquering death and hell. 

You only need to go in one direction. There are not multiple paths. There is not an alternative path. There is no side stepping. No nothing. One direction. One path. One Savior. One way to get to the Father. One way to claim salvation.